(ONTARIO, Canada) -- Patients at risk for strokes from blood clots who take aspirin because they can't take strong blood thinning drugs like warfarin may benefit significantly from a new drug, according to a new study presented at an American Stroke Association meeting in Canada.
The study's authors compared a new blood thinning drug, apixaban, to aspirin in 5,600 patients with atrial fibrillation -- an abnormal heart beat that can increase a person’s risk of stroke from blood clots -- who could not take warfarin. Over a period of about one year, they found that 1.6 percent of those taking apixaban suffered a stroke compared to 3.6 percent of those taking aspirin.
The findings were considered so significant that the study was stopped early.
Additionally, apixaban was just as safe as aspirin in these patients, with major bleeding events in each group being 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent for apixaban and aspirin, respectively.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio